I like to walk with a stick. Not a walking stick, just a stick. A bit bigger than a twig, but nota branch. I use it to feel the ground around me. the smoothness of the ivy and the clustered feel of their stems spreads across the forest floor. the water, fluid and sharp, dances over the rocks with exact precision. The quartz crystals in the rocks, worn down from lengthy travels, roughly smooth and consistently unique, share history lessons with those willing to feel. The trees, tall and handsome, some crooked, some horizontal, but they are all there and they are always there. Nowhere else do they need to be or exist. Their thoughts need not wander or imagine or explore, they know their role, they know who they are and doubt of such does not exist. In fact, all of nature does. The cedar grows forever until some force gives it a new purpose on the forest floor. Fallen but never forgotten, rather than live in regret and sadness of its lost role in the sky, as a place for beautiful ravens to nest and fly, it knows, understands, and takes on its new role instantaneously. Moss, lichens, bushes, ferns, and new trees grow on its back, sharing the strength and knowledge of its years with the younglings that those around it have birthed. The maple, what purpose does it serve, living only a short while before the rot in its base will inevitably bring it to an abrupt resting place? The shadow of its summer leaves cool the stream for fish habitat and its fallen body creates debris to slow the flow. Slow the flow. You see, the purpose of all of these trees, ferns, rocks, and water is full and complete and entirely necessary. Nothing is ever thought or considered or questioned, the goal and reason is uniform and certain. Venture forth into the forest, stop, listen, and hang out with the gentle giants as those willing to listen will surely learn.
These images are from a trip to Avatar Grove near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island. I had been to Renfrew to surf before, as was this trip’s goal, but never made it out to the grove. It’s actually a really easy place to get to, a lot of signs, and the trees, well the trees are incredible. Ancient cedars, firs, hemlocks….giants! The variations in the technique of these images outline at times clustered mind with which I shot these pictures. The forest has so much power and I’ve attempted to showcase some of that power with these photos.
And then we found a little slab.